Arts·Culture Days

How to create your own playful and intuitive 'positive vibe mixed media collage'

Making these collages is accessible and fun and teaches you to love the happy accidents you make along the way.

Making these collages is accessible and fun and teaches you to love the happy accidents you make along the way

How to create your own playful and intuitive 'positive vibe mixed media collage'

1 year ago
Duration 9:02
Making these collages is accessible and fun and teaches you to love the happy accidents you make along the way.

Culture Days is a national celebration of arts and culture with over 1,800 free, immersive, arts and culture events taking place across Canada (and virtually!) from September 24 to October 24, 2021. As part of this celebration, watch the video above to learn how to make your own collage with artist Jessa Dupuis. Feel free to share your collage online with the hashtag #CBCArtsMakes and find more Culture Days events here.

Hi! I'm Jessa Dupuis, a graphic designer, illustrator and mixed media collage artist from Vancouver Island. I've been working with mixed media and analog/hand-cut collage for the last six years. I love it because it's a very hands-on and intuitive process. It's accessible, it's flexible and it's a lot of fun!

Mixed media has us playing and experimenting with paint and expressive marks, not to mention teaching us to love all the happy accidents along the way. Collage sends us on a treasure hunt through old books and magazines, searching out colours, textures, topographies and images that stand out and speak to us. But the real magic comes when we combine all of these elements into their own visual story with new life and new meaning. I'm so happy you are joining me today to create your own Positive Vibe Mixed Media Collage!

Age range: Ages 10 and up (or even younger creatives who can safely use scissors)

Time commitment: approximately 1 to 1.5 hours


  • Watercolour and/or any brand of acrylic paint

  • Paint brushes

  • Jar with water

  • Scissors

  • Glue stick (acid-free is best)

  • Coloured pencil crayons and markers

  • Pencil

  • Old credit card or thick piece of cardboard (optional)

Materials needed for your positive vibes collage. (CBC Arts)


  • Old magazines or books that you are happy to cut and rip up

  • Several sheets of thick paper — watercolour or mixed media is best. In the video we are using 5x7" and 6x6" sheets, but any size you are comfortable working with will do. 


Step 1: Paint and mark up your backgrounds

Lay out your sheets of paper and get ready to play and experiment with paint and mark-making. 

Try to stay loose (close your eyes or try using your non-dominant hand). You can always start with a few pencil marks to warm up. Then grab a brush and start laying down some colour!

You can let each colour layer dry, or jump back in right away with more paint, markers, or pencil. Try both and decide which result you like best. Once you are happy with your efforts, set your mixed media backgrounds aside to dry.

Creating abstract expressive backgrounds for your mixed-media positive vibes collage. (CBC Arts)

Step 2: Collage treasure hunt

Open your old magazines and books and let the treasure hunting begin! Rip or cut out any images, colours, textures, or typography that catches your eye and makes you feel happy.

Make a nice big pile of all the good things you find. When you're ready, search through and pick out a handful of your favourite pieces (don't forget that positive word or phrase). Now you may refine your cut-outs or create some abstract shapes from the collage materials by either cutting, ripping or tearing.

Searching for collage elements and textures for your collage. (CBC Arts)

Step 3: Lay out your positive vibe story

Spend some time thinking about your positive word or phrase and play with the arrangement and layout of your elements on your background. Re-arrange and rearrange again!! You want to play around a lot with your ideas and layouts. Play, play, play, and always glue last!

Once you are happy with your collage layout, you may start to glue the pieces down. Remember to work from the bottom up. Sometimes it can be hard to remember exactly how you had placed your layers, but embrace the happy accidents that may come along and enjoy the process!

You did it! I hope you had fun and enjoyed the process of creating your very own positive vibe mixed media collage. 

Assembling together materials in your collage. (CBC Arts)

If you try this activity at home, we'd love to see it! Share your work with us on social by tagging @CBCArts, @jessadupuis and #CBCArtsMakes.


Jessa Dupuis is a designer, illustrator, and mixed media collage artist living and working in Cowichan Valley on Vancouver Island. Her work merges art and design, abstraction and order, truth and fiction. Jessa’s intention is to create art that allows people a moment in time to laugh, wonder, and connect with their own narratives in her abstract visual storytelling.

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